Fortifications and defense planning


There is now 8 new military structures : 4 types of battlements, and 4 tower buildings.
These structures can only be built on platforms.
Battlements will provide a defensive bonus to units on the platforms, and towers will act as units of their own providing fire support during battles, but are expensive to maintain and require permanent workers.

Using these structures combined with platforms, it is now possible to design pretty cool fortifications, like this castle i previously shared on facebook a while ago.
Or a fortified city like that second test, with a tiny fort in its middle.

Additionally to these new things available to build, i’ve created a tool i call for now the ” strategic tool”.
When activated, you get to see all the troops of all the formations present in your region and you can customize how your region and these troops will react to incoming enemies.

In the strategic tool, you can add “Defensive zones” simply by clicking to set a position and dragging across the terrain to set a radius.
These zones will automatically fill the terrain following 2 rules : they do not spread to lower heights, but they spread to higher ones.
This way, you can easily and quickly create zones filling hill tops stopping on the cliff edge as well as zones filling walled areas like castles or cities themselves ( the zone will include the wall and then stop at its border ).
The point of these zones is that you can then assign troops to it: each troop can be assigned a “strategic mode”, defining its behavior during battle, and being assigned to a defensive zone is one of them.
For now, i’m creating 3 strategic modes:
Defending zone : In this mode the troop is assigned to a specific defensive zone. The troop will never exit the zone, but will move within it if necessary. The troop will try to prevent enemies from entering the zone. Range units will move along the edge of the zone to engage any available target. Defensive zones can be superposed, so you can setup successive layers of defenses.
Pitch battle : Pitch battle is the basic default behavior. The troops in this mode will automatically deploy to face any incoming army and engage immediately.
Restricted engagement : In restricted engagement, the troop has a range of engagement ( that you can define ). The troop will only move to engage enemies when they are within this range. You could, this way, have some troops guarding specific spots (like warehouses) or reacting only when enemies reach certain zones.
For instance, you could have a defensive zone including all your city and walls with range units, and have some cavalry units in restricted engagement with a range reaching slightly beyond the walls. This way the units will sally out to engage enemies getting near the walls while your range units in defensive mode will support from the walls.


With the strategic tool, you can also select any troop and set its default deployment position.
In some modes however, this starting position might be irrelevant : for example troops in pitch battle will automatically redeploy to face the enemy on the edge of the region.

I’ve also added a new military unit: a default warrior unit. It’s basically a pig with a wooden cudgel (the selected troop on the left), and it will be the first available military unit of the game.


7 Replies to “Fortifications and defense planning”

  1. Yes, I didn’t realize it at first glance but confronting player’s minds against AI of other players could lead to unfair situations. Better to avoid it. Anyway, with good tools to program armies’ actions in advance, the game can do very well without any control in real time for battles.

    Glad to see players will not be required to play 24/24 to stay competitive in Ymir.

    I like this new unit with cudgels. I’m looking forward to watch all these fellows skewer and hack each other on the battlefield. Do you plan to add a gore mode with organs and blood blasts? After all, war is cruel and horrible, one of the darkest aspects of mankind (and apparently porkind too), and should be represented without concession in all its foolishness.

  2. I can’t allow realtime control, because it would give too big of an advantage to constantly online players over the ones trying to play less intensely.
    If ever i did that one day, it would have to be only for “realtime” games only.
    Or with a mechanic of “dares” where if both players are online at the same time they could somehow play the battle themselves. But player vs AI of another player would be a no.

    And yes units choose by evaluating threat. Unit types have a threat value and its combined with distance.

    The “conditions patterns” will not be in the strategic tool, but in the formations themselves. I don’t know how far i’ll be able to go, but formations will have a ” failsafe ” behavior you can choose, triggered by power to enemy ratio or loss ratio during the battle.
    With this you’ll be able to launch a raid mission that cancels if the target happens to have a huge army in the region you’re trying to raid instead of going to suicide.
    In the same way there could be a defensive failsafe, so that if you’re attacked by a huge army all your troops could evacuate or gather in a single defensive zone.

  3. Ymir is really starting to take shape! This strategic tool seems very convenient to design the defensive behavior of armies.

    I wonder how units prioritize their targets. Let’s suppose a squad of archers face a dilemma: There are a dozen of foot soldiers climbing ladders to get on the city wall, and in the same time a huge mammoth is trying the break the city gate. Which target the squad will choose first? The biggest threat ? or the closest enemy?

    It would also be convenient if the strategic tool could include some kind of condition patterns, in other word scripted reactions. (Example: If the ratio of attacking units compared to defending units falls under 50%, all the defenders switch automatically in Pitch battle.)

    Also, I don’t know if it’s technically possible, but it would be really cool if attackers could have full control of their units, in real time, when they invade a region. In any case, invaders should have the ability to focus only on unprotected areas, burning fields and destroying secluded buildings and retreating without approaching the most protected areas. This way, an invader could seriously impair the defender economy without losing too many troops, engaging in a long-term strategy siege.

    It would also encourage players to keep some means of food production (especially those who require less space) behind the protection of their city, if they want their population to be able to resist and survive a long siege, at least enough time for a potential ally’s army to come to their help.

  4. Well even in raids a castle will still make sense if you place it in a way to cover the valuable warehouses.
    Also , the 2 problems of the edges walls and towers interesect : indeed towers will be really expensive to maintain. They will be strong, but to take full advatange of their bonus it will be better to inverst in a small castle where all towers are close to each other instead of spreading them on huge walls where only 1 or 2 will be used at each battle. That will be an incentive in building small castles instead of trying to fortify right on the edge.
    And yes terrain modification will probably be affected too by the “no man’s land” zone. basically the only thing allowed will be fields.
    And yes, rising the terrain or making a platform will have the same effect : its the height difference that matters.
    The difference however is that you can only build towers and battlements on platforms. So if you make a wall of terrain, you wont be able to get the battlements bonus.

    And troops will not spawn from a single tile on each edge, they will spawn and be able to attack along the whole border. So you’d need to make a massive wall costing thousands of materials and spread your towers along it… I don’t see anyone doing this unless its a massive capital city.
    Also i was considering the idea of an ocasionnal maintenance fee for the existing infrastructures, which can be a lever to balance excessive wall building.

  5. So units on wall have a bonus ? And cliff works too, which is interesting.
    In an archer versus archer scenario, the ones on the wall have the avantage with range and damage. In an archer (on wall) versus infantry, the footmens will have to climb, giving more time for the archers to shoot.

    Towers have more defense than archers, I hope. Because they still cost money, they need workers, which use part of the population instead of removing them from the town. And towers can’t move. In short, if they aren’t better than archers in pure combat, then towers aren’t useful. I think.

    “Finally, enemies deploy on the edge matching their provenance in worldmap, so not always the same spot, and the edge of the region will have a no-mans land where no constructions are allowed, making sure there’s enough space for attackers. They might even deploy “out” of the visual border if this gets too problematic.”

    But if it’s only 4 “spawnpoints” from which arriving armies spreads from, it can be easy to use the terrain to reduce the need for walls. Instead of using 4 walls to make a small castle, use 4 walls of the same size, on per spawpoint. Use cliffs to block around.
    Or will players be unable to use terraformation along the edge of the map, like they can’t build buildings ?

    I was mostly thinking of raids and not of conquest. In conquest, a single strong citadel makes more sense.

    Thank you for the swift answer. 🙂

  6. The range of units is displayed when you select a unit type to recruit ( its in nb of tiles ). I don’t have the numbers in mind. archers are like around 10. Javelineers have around 5.

    Yes troops move in formations. When they fight , troop soldiers visually break formations to fight each other.
    And yes cavalry is faster than regular infantry. Though visually all units move slower than “reality” to make battles easier to read and balance range units. A bit like in an age of empires 2 fashion.

    Well fortifications will provide a huge defensive bonus:
    enemies will struggle to climb them ( cliff or walls ) immobilizing them long enough to take way more damage from range units on top who will also have range and damage bonus. Not to mention defensive towers will add support.
    So yes you can face any ennemy in pitch battle , but in that case you’d have de facto no defensive bonus and would need the same amount of troops as your attacker.
    Also if an ennemy tries to conquer the region, he will have to eliminate all threats, so having a castle will force them to take it. Also probably a good idea to have your warehouses near the castle like in stronghold, so it protects against raids too.
    Finally, enemies deploy on the edge matching their provenance in worldmap, so not always the same spot, and the edge of the region will have a no-mans land where no constructions are allowed, making sure there’s enough space for attackers. They might even deploy “out” of the visual border if this gets too problematic.

  7. Awesome !

    So now troops are unit like rather than mobs ? They stay in formation (at least until the contact) ?

    What is the range of attack of ranged units, like archers ?

    Are cavalry unit really fast ?

    What is the avantage of using fortifications, leaving open a large part of our town to ennemies ? I mean, in pitch battle mode, you block them before they can do any damages to buildings.

    I hope incoming armies have a random spawn point along the edge of the map. If you played enough at Stronghold, you’ll know what I mean : When you know where the enemy will appear, you don’t build walls around your village. You build walls around the enemy. And shot him down, to death. Lot of death.

    In all around, that’s a great update. Almost make up for more than a month without new. 😀
    I’m kidding, I’m kidding. That’s super interesting, and I’m glad to see the game progress.

    By the way, the first image have a link redirecting on the second image.

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